Royal Gardens of Sigiriya

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Tags : Garden & Park

Timings : 7:00 AM- 5:30 PM

Entry Fee : Included in ticket to the Sigiriya Rock Fortres

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Royal Gardens , Sigiriya Overview

The stunning royal gardens surround the imposing rock fortress of Sigiriya comprising of lush greenery scattered with beautiful pools, fountains, giant boulders, and picturesque terraces. It is one of the oldest landscaped gardens in the world.

The royal gardens are primarily composed of water gardens, terrace gardens, and boulder gardens. The water gardens’ pools, ponds, and fountains are fed by an elaborate network of underground ducts, which were restored in the 1950s. During the monsoon, the fountains are operational, enhancing the beauty of the verdant landscape. A sophisticated hydraulics system only adds to the ingenuity of the engineers of that era.

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Layout Of The Royal Gardens of Sigiriya

1. Water Gardens
The water gardens are certainly the most complex of the lot due to the hydraulics accompanying it. It consists of three smaller gardens. The first garden comprises four L-shaped pools in a square formation, with smooth walls and a series of steps; these pools converge to form a pavilion-like area at the middle. A twisting stream, ruins of a pavilion with a limestone, throne and fountain sprinklers with perforated slabs of limestone are on display at the second garden, which is aptly known as the Fountain Garden. The third garden, the largest among the three, is the site of the summer palaces of King Kashyapa I; they are situated on two islands and surrounded by moats. An octagonal pond with an attached pavilion is also in this garden.

2. Terrace Gardens
The terrace gardens are laid out in a concentric fashion encircling the Sigiriya Rock. It is composed of terraces one above the other, built with rubble walls and connected by two staircases of limestone and brick. The topmost terrace of the garden eventually leads to the Mirror Wall.

3. Boulder Gardens
The asymmetrical boulder gardens are dotted with huge boulders with shelters underneath and linked by walkways. These shelters had initially been the base for a Buddhist monastery dating back to the third century BC—much before King Kashyapa’s reign. Various buildings sat atop every boulder, as indicated by dents on the rock, which are traces of the footings for the structures’ foundations. Paintings and inscriptions once adorned the stones, and faint remains of them can still be observed today. Noteworthy elements of these gardens include the Audience Hall and the Cobra Hood Cave. The Audience Hall is a flat-topped rock formation that earns its name from a large throne carved out of stone. The Cobra Hood Cave is famous for its resemblance to a cobra’s hood, and a 2nd-century inscription and signs of cave paintings.

4. Miniature Garden
A miniature water garden, starkly different in layout from the other three, was discovered in the 1980s, with an extensive network of pavilions, courtyards, brick and limestone buildings and water bodies.

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